Hearing "Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom,” makes me so uneasy when we are in public. So many things runs through my mind and there is not much I can do, but pray she doesn't have to go #2 (poop). Here are some ways I try to prevent this crisis and what I do if it does happen.
1. Go Before Leaving and Upon Arrival
Anytime I am at a place with a reliable bathroom (home, restaurant, store) I bring the girls to the bathroom. This way I avoid creepy gas station facilities and juggling two children in filthy or tiny spaces. Nevertheless, I have so much on my mind, I frequently forget, so….
2. Same Pee schedule
Every time I use the restroom I take the girls. They enjoy doing what mommy's doing at the same time I'm doing it. It's funny because me and my five year old are still on similar pee schedules.
3. Know Where Bathrooms Are
So that we are not running through the mall in search of a bathroom, I try to know where they are in advance.
4. Just Go
Especially when our 5 year old was potty training, I had less time to get her to a toilet before she had an accident. Once she mentions it, we are off and running in search of a safe and private space to go.
5. Ditch the Rompers
Zippers, long dresses, leotards, rompers and other fancy items require too much work to get undressed. We stick to easy outfits so that it's a simple pull down (or up) and go.
6. Carry A Cup
Sometimes they just can't hold it. A friend recommended a portable urination device. I've also seen moms carry a potty in their trunk. I use a plastic cup/bowl for our side-of-the-road releases. Using a cup prevents the pee stream from going on their clothes when they squat. Thankfully there has only been a couple of times she had to poop, in which I used a plastic bag (or a diaper from our baby).
7. Always Carry Wipes
To wipe hands and butts.
8. Cover the Seat
We always cover the seat with toilet paper at public restrooms if there are no seat covers.
9. Foot flush
This is another sanitary practice I was raised on. We use our foot to flush public toilets.
10. Paper Towel to Open The Door
There are still people who use the bathroom without washing their hands. To continue with the sanitary practices - after washing our hands, we use a towel to open the door.
11. Stay Calm
I'm still working on this because hearing "I need to go to the bathroom" still makes me anxious. I have heard horror stories of kids holding pee causing urinary tract infections. And holding poop causing bound up stomachs. I'm thankful she tells me and I don't want my reaction to scare her or make her think I am upset when she needs to use the bathroom.
12. Accidents Happen
They may still have an accident and it’s okay.